Our expert buyers scrutinize every item we carry to ensure it meets our high quality standards. Our standards are based on feedback from customers like you and on regular reviews of the best environmental science.
We don’t allow scores of ingredients commonly found in foods at other stores – ingredients like artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, or sweeteners. You can find our full list of unacceptable ingredients for food here.
Organic growing methods keep toxic pesticides and fertilizers, genetic engineering, sewage sludge, and irradiation out of our food … and that means out of our bodies and our ecosystems, too. Organic methods can build soil instead of depleting it, help sequester carbon, and promote biodiversity and animal welfare.
We’re proud to carry the region’s best selection of organic foods. You’ll find that our produce department is over 99% organic (the remainder is wild mushrooms, sustainably gathered from Oregon’s forests). We strive to curate a wide array of organics in all our departments, whenever they are available. Unless there is a significant price difference between an organic item and its non-organic counterpart, we typically carry only the organic version.
Whether produced overseas or in the United States, all foods labeled as organic in the United States must meet the same rigorous USDA rules and standards, and be certified by a licensed third party certifier.
LifeSource is committed to the well-being of our staff, and the well-being of all individuals who work to provide the products on our shelves. At a bare minimum, we expect all companies with which we work to meet legal requirements for labor practices.
Whenever possible, we provide Fair Trade verified products, and we are committed to working with committed Fair Trade organizations like Equal Exchange and Café Mam. We have specific standards to promote worker well-being and self-determination in certain industries that have been plagued by labor abuses.
Whenever there is an option, our buyers choose items that are the most minimally packaged, and packaged in the most sustainable materials possible: compostable, recyclable, and reusable. When an otherwise great product is offered to us in clearly unsustainable packaging, we encourage vendors to make modifications to minimize environmental impact.
We work with our vendors to foster synergies of transportation so that more products can be consolidated into fewer deliveries, reducing vendors’ fuel costs and carbon dioxide emissions, and building a robust network of distributors dedicated to our local communities.
We welcome our customers to fill their own clean containers in our bulk department, eliminating the use of disposable packaging altogether!
While the practice of genetic modification has been hugely controversial, one thing that is clear is that genetic modification of crops, as currently and historically practiced, has been a vehicle for big agribusiness to consolidate control of the seed industry and sell more pesticides. Today, a huge proportion of the crops grown in the United States and internationally have been genetically modified. We strongly support full transparency and labeling of genetically modified foods.
Genetically modified crops include alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, potato, soy, sugar beets, and zucchini and summer squash. Organic foods, however, cannot contain GMOs.
Since 2016, we have taken great care to disallow from our shelves any new food products containing GMOs. We recognize that there are some products on our shelves that were introduced prior to 2016 that may contain GMOs; we are currently engaged in an extensive process of identifying these at-risk “grandfathered” items and replacing them as alternatives are available.
We support the work of the Non-GMO Project. We encourage our customers to look for the Non-GMO Project butterfly seal and the USDA organic logo, both of which are assurances that a product is GMO-free.
We believe that livestock have the right to live free of fear, pain, and ongoing psychological stress, that they should be able to express their natural behaviors, and that they should always be treated with care, gentleness, and respect.
We do not allow meat, dairy, or eggs to come from animals confined to cages or stalls. For poultry and eggs, this means that birds must have room to perch, nest, and stretch their wings; we prioritize meat and eggs from birds raised on pasture. For mammals (cattle, hogs, sheep, goats, etc.) we require that all animals have access to open range or pasture, except when temporary outdoor conditions may be so wet, cold, or muddy that indoor shelter is more humane. We believe that animals raised on pasture and eating grass are happier and healthier than their counterparts raised in confinement and eating grain.
We recognize that some customers believe it is unethical to consume any animal products or that taking an animal’s life for food is inherently inhumane. We also recognize that some customers consider the careful and responsible tending of animals to be key to their own health and the health of the environment. Our role is to provide the most humane choices for omnivorous customers.
We’re just as concerned with what we put on our bodies as with what we put in them. We look for products made from natural ingredients that are safer for humans and the environment. With the exception of hair colorants, we consult the Environmental Working Group’s “Skin Deep” guide to cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients to evaluate the safety of body care products.
We’ve made it easy for you to see some of the things that make our products great, just by glancing at their shelf tags.
[OG] = USDA Certified Organic. Produced without toxic pesticides or fertilizers, genetic engineering, sewage sludge, or irradiation.
[Non-GMO] = Verified by the Non-GMO Project to be free of genetically engineered inputs.
[Fair Trade] = Produced in accordance with Fair Trade principles, as verified by the Fair Trade Federation , Small Producers’ Symbol , Fair Trade International, Fair Trade Certified, or other reputable organization. The majority of an item’s ingredients, not a single ingredient among many, must be produced with Fair Trade principles.
[Close to Home] = Locally grown or produced in Oregon. “Close to Home” items may be:
[GF] = Gluten Free. These items must be marked as gluten free by the manufacturer.